Home at last

If you follow my Instagram then you probably have a pretty good idea about how things have been going with Rebel but here is a more detailed rundown.  Fair warning there will be lots of pictures and videos in this post.

Horses come home

We drove down to pick them up from LAX and everything happened so fast I didn’t get many pictures.  They loaded in the trailer like pros and we were off on our 6 hour journey back home.  Most of the way home it was 112 degrees! Welcome to California Czech ponies!  Thankfully it doesn’t get that hot in Gilroy.

 

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Pulling into the barn as the sun was setting.

 They handled the haul well but were very happy to be out of the trailer.Once in their stalls we needed to wait for them to pee and poop so we could rest easy knowing the drive didn’t stress them out enough to colic.  So about 3 hours later only Rebel was cleared.  Silver straight up refused to go the bathroom with an audience. We tried turning the lights off and leaving him alone awhile but still no luck.  Eventually we decided to give up.  We took the remaining food out of his stall and went home knowing we would be back in a few hours to check on them.  The next morning we check his stall and low and behold we have poop!

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Silver eating his dinner after a long haul

First day home

The next day was all about pictures, treats, pets and turn outs.

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Home at last
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To busy looking around to pose for pictures
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Meeting the barn pups
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First grooming
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First turn out, Silver says “Hi” in the background.
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 Silver is a total love
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“You will do great things”

First hack

After giving them three days to settle we tack them up for their first ride.  Rebel was amazing!  He acted as if he had been in the arena a million times.  We just casually hacked around and tried some trot poles which he was confused by.  He trotted up to them and then cantered both.   He was like “silly girl jumps are suppose to be cantered”.  After a few attempts he caught on and trotted through them nicely.  We were only going to flat but he was doing so well we threw in a crossrail 🙂 I couldn’t believe how much fun I had just hacking him.

 

First lesson

Holy crap this horse is amazing!  I remembered why I fell in love with him in the first place which is because he is super honest and forgiving.  I hadn’t jumped “big” in 2 months so I was really nervous but he took care of me.  I got to some bad spots but he saved me time and time again.   I can’t believe he’s only 5 and will still get better and better.

I have to share this video because we get a bad spot in and you can hear me say “shit” cause I figured we weren’t going to be able to get out smoothly but my horse is so freaking amazing he acted like it was nothing.

Here are two better attempts 😀

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First naughty times aka baby brain day

Yeah he is only 5 lol.  So we got our first case of baby brain yesterday.  He spent the morning in turn out running around and having fun but I guess that sapped his energy.  It got really windy but we were determined to ride.  He was LAZY!  My legs are still aching from that ride.   One thing I took away from this lesson is just how freaking honest this horse is.  Even though we crawled (like western pleasure speed even though I am pressing and pressing and kissing and kissing) through a four stride he still jumped the jumps.  He was being a brat for sure but he still didn’t think twice about getting to the other side.   Even though he was giving me attitude and getting behind my leg the ENTIRE lesson I still walked away feeling so lucky to have him.  I knew when I bought a young horse there would be less than perfect rides so I was wasn’t worried in the least.

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Baby brain day was the first day I got to use my custom pad

First lesson after baby brain day

Holy crap this horse is amazing!  I can honestly say this horse loves to jump.  Like really loves it.  When we are flatting he is getting his eye on every jump and I can just tell he is itching to jump it.  If it were up to him there would be no flat work…ever.   I just need to work on keeping his stride reasonable because they can get BIG.  On baby brain day we did a gymnastics line and the end was suppose to be a one stride but he did it in a bounce… It’s going to take me a lot of practice to get use to his stride because he doesn’t feel fast so I never think I need a half halt but in reality his stride is just eating up the ground.   I defiantly feel like I made the right choice in Czech.  I had a feeling about him when he bailed me out of a really bad spot, I just knew he was the type of horse I needed to progress.

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So thirsty after our lesson today

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Big ass stride

I will do an update on Silver in another post.  He is doing great though and I am super excited to see him show soon!  Here is a sneak peek.

Recap of day 1

I am back home and recovered from jet lag so it’s time to go through the trip.  Shout out to the best husband in the world for video editing for me.  To be honest I opened up my laptop and looked at all the video clips that needed to be trimmed and edited together and got overwhelmed and shut the laptop off.  That is when my husband intervened and did all the editing for me.

Okay so day one.  We made our way to the first barn to see a couple of horses.  I got on the first one but didn’t feel comfortable jumping so got off.  Rode the second one and really liked him.  I went ahead and jumped him and pretty much missed all of my distances.  I did get one good one which was not captured on film 😦  I was extremely nervous riding in front of so many people and in a man sized saddle.  The saddle was big, flat and slick and I felt very insecure in it but I needed to give it a go.  The horse, Aris, was a saint and jumped even though he was probably wondering what the hell was happening.  I was told I needed to ride in the German style as the horses are trained that way.  Okay so learning how to jump in a different style on the fly with a bunch of people observing was almost debilitating.

When we got to the next barn one of our agents offered to give tips while I rode which I accepted.  However, she only spoke Czech so any advice would need to be translated.  I figured I would take a jump then come in and get some instruction before trying again but instead I would hear instruction being given on the way to the jump with the english speaking agent trying to translate fast enough.  Needless to say it was chaotic.  We suggested jumping first then getting advice but I think they misunderstood and ending up sitting quietly while my trainer and I did our thing.  It ended up working better that way.  With each horse I got more and more comfortable.

I really liked the horse No Fear, he had a cute jumping style and was comfortable.  However he had a couple of sarcoid cyst that would need to be removed and even then might grow back so I was pretty bummed about  that cause he was great.  So while I am bumming on that the next horse comes out, Goody, and he looks great.  He is big bodied, bay and has a nice jump.  The rider jumps him 1.20 for us and then I hop on.  I feel really comfortable on him and take him over some jumps.  Again I am finding bad distances but he is just rolling with it.  I get him to a particularly bad spot and he just gives it everything and over jumps and we get to the other side (didn’t get that on video).  End on a good note with him.

Last barn of the day we see 2 more which I didn’t think would work and didn’t ride them.  Then they bring out the third horse and he is a gorgeous dark bay 4 year old stallion.  Felt comfortable on him and jumped him around with no problems.  This place had more jumps set so it was great to be able to just take him around and jump whatever came up.

At the end of the day I had 3 contenders.  Completely exhausted we needed to make a 2.5 hour drive to Brno where we would sleep and see more horses the next day.  Enjoy the day one video.  I will post about day 2 soon.

Quick update

Sitting at the airport waiting to board our fight home.  The wifi was super spotty here so that is why there are no videos posted.  The internet just couldn’t handle it.  When I get home I will do a series where I go through each day of trying horse and include the videos.

Things I would do differently next time.

  1. Take notes after each horse.  They really start to run together and after riding so many it’s hard to remember what each one felt like.
  2. Give yourself a day to re-ride your favorites.
  3. Don’t be afraid to say no to horses you know will not work for you.
  4. Bring your own saddle if at all possible

I think I know which horse I am going to pick and am so excited!  He will still need go through his vet check but I won’t say who he is until all the videos have been uploaded.

Okay need to board the plane.  Look for new post in the next couple of days.

Serious Dreams, Serious Equipment

When I first changed disciplines from “paint horse english” to Hunter/Jumper english I used a school saddle that my trainer had, an old Beval saddle.  I rode in it for about six month and when I started looking for my own horse I decided I needed my own saddle. I would see peoples’ saddles in the tack room every time I would come to ride and it was rows of CWDs and Antares among other high-end brands. Looking up used saddles online I had sticker shock at the prices of these brands. When I rode paints I always rode in a Crosby. The Crosby I did have my mom bought me brand new. It didn’t have knee rolls which was the style back then. It was also 16.5 inches (to small for me now) so I already knew that saddle was not going to cut it. Selling that saddle was hard for me. My mom had sacrificed to buy me that saddle so it was sentimental to me. Looking back I probably should have just kept it as it went for next to nothing on eBay and after fees and shipping I walked away with a laughingly small amount.   Lesson learned.

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Crosby Pre De Nations

 

I decided that I wanted to buy an Antares. Buying new was not an option for me so I started to scour the Internet for a decent used one. I found a 2002 Antares saddle for $1500 and decided to buy it. At his point in time the saddle was 12 years old. I was so excited when it arrived! It turned out to be a very comfortable saddle and it fit me very well. As I started riding more and more the flaps on the saddle started to wear thin. I used it for about one and half years and had to make the decision to replace the flaps or buy a new saddle. My thought process was I couldn’t keep buying a saddle every year. It would be better for me to buy a brand new saddle that will last years instead having to constantly replace it.   Meanwhile I absolutely fell in love with my trainers CWD 2Gs saddle. She let me ride in it and it was like nothing else I have ever sat in. If you ever have a chance to ride in one do it! So now I really want a 2gs. I start looking for a newer used one but my seat size and flap length is a rare combination. I searched for a used one for about 3 months before decided to bite the bullet and order a brand new one. I sold my Antares for $1400; dog sat many dogs and started working off Greyson’s training cost (applying the savings to my saddle fund).

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My 2002 Antares, just oiled.

 

I ordered my saddle and waited the excruciating three months it takes to be made and shipped. A few weeks ago I received it and have ridden in it for two weeks now. It is just now starting to break in. Every time I look at it I get all happy inside. It fits Greyson so well and my leg position has gotten better. It is just another step towards jumping the 1.20m.

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How it looked out of the box
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Here it is after being conditioned a couple of times.